Exhibition Season Gets Off to Bad Start
Men’s Hockey Team Comes Up Short to Open Pre-Season
An under-stocked Concordia’s men’s hockey team played catch-up on Sept. 14, losing 4-3 to the Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes at the Ed Meagher Arena.
“We played well, but we should have played a bit better defensively,” said Stingers centre Charles Antoine Messier.
The Stingers found themselves trailing early when UQTR centre Olivier Donavan connected on a pass from right winger Marc-André Laroche and Gabriel Lemieux to go up 1-0 in the first period.
The home team got that one back soon after, as Étienne St. Germain scored one on the power play with help from wingers François Lanctot-Marcotte and Alexandre Monahan.
The Stingers took a brief 2-1 lead after a goal by Messier, but poor defensive hockey proved costly for them, as UQTR went on to add two shorthanded goals to finish off the first up 3-2.
Defensive troubles and poor discipline on the Stingers’ part helped the Patriotes to increase their lead to 4-2 when Felix LeFrançois got one past Concordia keeper Nick Champion.
The Stingers would close off the game with a goal from Lanctot-Marcotte midway through the third, but the damage had already been done for them, as they could not close the gap before time ran out.
The Patriotes had their full roster dressed, however, while the Stingers iced a lineup that was half first year players. With seven cuts still to be made, the 34 players in camp are expected to be cut down to 27.
Stingers head coach Kevin Figsby had mixed feelings about the game. “I thought some of our first-year players played really well,” he said, but admitted that “there were some guys who I had expected more from who didn’t perform to expectation tonight.”
“There are probably four or five guys on the ice tonight who won’t be with us when the season starts,” continued Figsby. “That’s just the reality of pre-season.” Player releases have been made starting from the first three days of camp.
“Michael Stinziani brought his A-game tonight,” said Figsby, praising a few of the stand-out Stingers. “Messier played really well, and Samuel Morneau, one of our first-year players, played really well.”
Figsby was also impressed with goaltenders Nick Champion and Pete Karvouniaris. “I thought Nick met our expectations and I thought Pete played extremely well,” said Figsby. “We’re really happy and elated with the goaltending situation this year.”
Champion has four years of experience as one of the top goalies in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, while Karvouniaris was the top goalie last year in the Junior A Hockey League in Ontario.
“Obviously there were a couple bad bounces off the screen there,” said goaltender Champion, when asked about his performance. “It’s an exhibition game and I was trying to get a feel for the team and my defensemen.”
“Tonight’s game marks the first time the team has had a sense of practice, which they were able to put into their systems,” said Figsby. “We went out there tonight and we were playing a little bit on adrenaline and emotion and not too much on team tactical play,” adding that they need to put their A lineup on the ice in order to get a better sense of how they’ll stack up against the opposition this season.
The Stingers close out their exhibition season Oct. 2 with a trip to Royal Military College in Kingston. The puck drops at 2:00 p.m.